Jane's Hooked on Crochet

A place to write about my crocheting, things I'm learning, book reviews, ideas, projects in mind, works in progress, patterns, photos, fair entries, whatever...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Swatching Bernat Jr. Jacquards

There was a box waiting for me Sunday evening when we arrived home from our weekend trip. It was from "RA_ Yarnsandmore", where I've been getting my fiber fix lately. Jean gets a lot of the yarn before they hit the stores, so I keep my eye out for new non-wool yarns that I can swatch and review. I had the NaturallyCaron Spa swatched and involved in a garment before most people had heard of it. Well, this particular box contained the Jr. Jaquards that was supposed to be out mid-March and I had an order in, it finally arrived.
The photos on the site showed the yarn knitted in swatches, and showed beautiful stripes and sections that looked like flowers, etc. Well, the yarn on the ball doesnt' look anything like that. I picked the color Denim Daze, because I was thinking that if it didn't work up for the design idea, that I could use if for a scarf for myself. The ball looks like white yarn with sections of grey, green, red and blue. Now it doesn't fade nicely from one color into another like a variegated yarn, it's just stark color changes; some short, some long.
The first thing I did then was to knit some up to see if it worked up like the photos. I used a size 6 needle as recommended on the label. Well, I knitted for what seemed forever, and I had white....I finally decided to end it all by stabbing myself to death with those little needles...or wait, I can slip all those stitches on a beautiful wooden Tunisian hook (size F, I think) and make life so much happier. Genius! The frustration was gone, the yarn slid across the hook so much faster, I got to see progress in the color changes and I got to see how the yarn worked up in Tunisian. I used the Tunisian knit stitch (TKS) so I could compare it to the photos of the yarn knitted. From the front you couldn't tell where the knitting changed to TKS! The back shows the familiar Tunisian ridge, but the color changes were fabulous.
Next I started with a second ball of the Jacquards and a wooden size J or K tunisian hook. When I bought this hook at Chain Link, the seller couldn't find the sizer to tell me what size the hook was, but I decided that I was buying it for it's beauty and it didn't matter what size it was!! The color changes are fabulous! Next I started another ball on a size L hook, not only are the color changes fabulous, but the fabric has a wonderful stretch and is much softer. This is the hook I will use when I get going on the design idea.
Tuesday night at our Crochet in Public at Borders, I tried out this yarn in regular crochet. I thought that it wouldn't work up as well, because in knitting and Tunisian you carry the yarn across the width of your fabric over and over. In crochet the yarn is worked one stitch at a time, the colors would be more "pooled". I started with a single crochet and an E hook because that was close to the recomendation on the ball band (label). Nope. I moved up to a G hook and single crochet, no good. I switched to a G and a half double; naw. As expected the colors distributed more like a variegated, and you didn't get the beautiful stripes and "Fair Isle" effect like with the knit and Tunisian. This is one yarn that definitely will look better knitted than crocheted. But if you love the color ways, stretch your skills and techniques and learn Tunisian!
I'd love to get some swatch pictures up soon, but I'm having trouble with my camera to computer software. If I can get a flat swatch on the scanner and get the color right, I'll get some pics up.


At Monday, November 10, 2008, Anonymous Riva said...

Well written article.


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